The Differences Between Homeowners Associations & Property Managers

Understanding the difference between a homeowners association and a property manager can come in handy if you live in, well, most dwellings in Florida.

While they work together in most circumstances, they can sometimes conflict with one another. Whether you’re a tenant, a property owner or a property management company, you need to know how a HOA governs the community you live or work in.

What You Need to Know About Homeowners Associations

When you live in an apartment complex with condos, an urban subdivision or a suburban neighborhood, you share the surrounding space with different owners. Everyone has their own expectations for how they should maintain the property and distribute the responsibilities. To help with collectively creating a set of rules and enforcing them to all property owners, communities form homeowners associations. According to the Community Association Institute, there are 320,000.

A homeowners association includes people who own homes in the respective community. Depending on the community, a vote or a board has the final say.
In addition to creating and enforcing rules, an HOA will also be responsible for:

  • Hiring staff, contractors, security (secretaries, landscapers, guards)
  • Setting budgets, collecting dues, securing insurance
  • Maintaining common areas within the community

A Property Manager’s Role Within a Homeowners Association

A property manager can either work for an HOA or share responsibilities with other property owners to one their community. Here’s a breakdown of both cases.

A property manager hired by a homeowners association usually oversees the work of staff, contractors and security personnel. He or she responds to the requests of the residents, collects monies and handles all the emergencies.

A property manager who owns a property in a community with an HOA simply has to follow the rules created by it, and enforce them to any tenants living in it.
This includes paying HOA fees, maintaining the lawn and following trash guidelines.

An HOA is the Head of All in the Community

A homeowners association has the legal power to issue warnings, prosecute offenders and collect penalty fees within the community.

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